Expert intel to keep your family safe from increasing COVID-19 cases

by | Nov 9, 2023 | Health and Wellness

As we enter the winter months when many Canadians shield themselves from common respiratory viruses like influenza and RSV, it’s as important as ever to be vigilant and learn how to protect your family against the latest strains of COVID-19.

“In late August we started to see an increase in positive COVID tests and a significant increase in COVID-related hospitalizations,” says Dr. Christine Palmay, a family physician and contributor to digital health-care platform Care to Know. “Unfortunately, COVID-19 is still with us and given that many people haven’t had a booster for 12 months, they would have lost a fair degree of immunity. As we return to activities and head indoors, we can’t ignore the virus as it continues to evolve.”

As new subvariants of the COVID-19 virus are identified, Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization is recommending all Canadians get another COVID-19 vaccine for the fall if it has been at least six months since their last vaccine shot or COVID-19 infection.

Dr. Palmay says vaccines for the fall have been specifically designed to target the dominant subvariants of the virus and offer good protection from severe illness. “The science continues to advance and the vaccines that we used last autumn, and this past spring are less effective with new subvariants,” she adds.

While recommended for everyone, people considered “at-risk” should be extra vigilant including:

  • People 65 or older
  • Pregnant women
  • People living in long-term care
  • People living with an underlying medical condition
  • Indigenous and racialized communities
  • People who provide essential community services

Keep yourself and your family protected:

  • Make sure all your recommended vaccinations are up to date
  • Get a new COVID-19 vaccine along with the influenza vaccine – it’s safe to get COVID and flu shots at the same time, one in each arm
  • Avoid crowded indoor locations
  • Wear a mask
  • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Stay away from others when sick
  • Ensure that you have supplies at home in case you are sick (food, water, medications)

Find free information and updates on many health-related topics including COVID-19, influenza, RSV and treatments to manage respiratory illnesses at caretoknow.ca

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